Scientists from one of the UK's leading universities, Cambridge, has warned that there's a chance AI computers will take over the world over the course of the next two centuries.
A philosopher, a scientist and a software engineer have suggested that computers could eventually become the world's dominant species. The trio founded the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), which opens next year.
Huw Price, one of the co-founders and the Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, believes the current century and next are the crucial two. He warns that we shouldn't underestimate artificial general intelligence (AGI).
"It seems a reasonable prediction that some time in this or the next century intelligence will escape the constraints of biology," he said. "Nature didn't anticipate us, and we in our turn shouldn't take AGI for granted. We need to take seriously the possibility that there might be a 'Pandora's box' moment with AGI that, if missed, could be disastrous."
"I don't mean that we can predict this with certainty, no one is presently in a position to do that, but that's the point! With so much at stake, we need to do a better job of understanding the risks of potentially catastrophic technologies."
Others involved in the project are Martin Rees, professor of cosmology and astrophysics, who is joined by Jaan Tallinn, a software engineer and co-founder of Skype.
Cambridge stated that "luminaries in science, policy, law, risk and computing from across the Universtiy and beyond" are set to become involved in the project, including fellow leading education establishment Oxford, as well as the U.S-based Harvard and MIT.